ChrisBlackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired all North American rights to DagurKari's festival hit Noi The Albino (Noi Albinoi) at the European Film Market in Berlin and, in a separate deal, allNorth American rights (excluding French-speaking Canada) to ClaudeBerriis bittersweet comedy The Housekeeper (Une Femme De Menage).
Palm plans atheatrical release for Noi The Albino in the autumn followed by a DVD roll-out on the PalmPictures label. Set in Northern Iceland, the story concerns a teenager'sclumsy attempts to flee a life of boredom among the fjords with a city girl whoworks at a local gas station. The picture has won six awards including theMovieZone Award at Rotterdam and the FIPRESCI Award at the Gothenburg FilmFestival.
In a jointstatement, Palm Pictures' head of acquisitions and production David Kohand the company's new head of theatrical distribution Ryan Werner said:"We're incredibly excited to be able to introduce Noi Albinoi to the North American market. It marksthe debut of a major talent, Dagur Kari, and is the rare film that manages tobe both an artistic breakthrough and an audience pleaser.'
Koh and Werner negotiated the deal with Phillipe Bober ofThe Co-Production Office in Berlin.
Meanwhile TheHousekeeper is plannedfor theatrical release in the summer followed by a DVD release on the PalmPictures label. Directed by Berri, whose credits include Jean De Florette and Germinal, the story focuses on a cuckolded husbandwho employs a housekeeper and starts an affair with her. It stars Jean-PierreBacri (The Taste of Others) and best newcomer Cesar nominee Emilie Dequenne (Rosetta).
The deal was negotiated by Koh and Werner with PascalDiot, head of sales for Pathe International.
"We'rethrilled to be working with Pathe and Claude Berri. The Housekeeper is an incredibly well observed filmfilled with terrific performances by both Bacri and Dequenne, as well as ascene-stealing cameo by French director Catherine Breillat. It is the rare filmthat manages to take adults seriously, and we think it's going to reallyconnect with audiences," Koh said in a statement.
Palm has beenstepping up its theatrical acquisitions after the success last year of SexAnd Lucia, with recent acquisitionsincluding The Sea andFulltime Killer.